BY AFOLABI ONI.
Nigeria’s women’s national basketball team, D’Tigress, have vowed to end the 2018 FIBA World Cup on a high note on Sunday when they face world number 5, Canada in the seventh and eighth position classification game.
Despite winning the first quarter of their play off against France by 20-18, they eventually lost by 86 points to 62 on Saturday.
Elonu Adaora led D’Tigress scorers’ chat with 15 points and 2 assists while ever dependable Evelyn Akhator scored 9 points, 2 assists and 6 rebounds which was not enough to secure the much coveted win.
France with height advantage dominated inside the paint recording 69% conversion rate from their attempts while 18 points were also scored against the D’Tigress from the 3 point line with the duo of Ciak Helena and Gruda Sandrine leading the charge against D’Tigress with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game, Head coach, Otis Hughley said the girls may be physically tired, but they are mentally ready to take on Canada and secure a win.
“Considering the number of games we have played since the world cup started, it has taken its toll on the players. The most experienced Center, Aisha Mohammed had to sit out this match because of injury she sustained against Turkey. She managed to rush back against USA, but we could not get her ready on time for the game against France.”
Otis praised the Nigeria Basketball Federation for setting a standard with their organizational skills in getting the team prepared on time for the world cup.
“Early preparation made possible by the federation which saw us camp in Atlanta, Lagos and the friendly against Turkey in Istabul before the world cup was really helpful in getting us ready for our best ever finish by any African country in the history of the world cup.”
D’Tigress, ranked number 34 in the world defeated Turkey (7th), Argentina (15th) and Greece (20th) before setting up a quarter final clash with defending champions and world number 1, United States of America.
D’Tigress’ last game against Canada comes up by 11:30am